With gas prices continually fluctuating — and typically on the rise — it’s good to know what the prices are around town before you fill up. This is especially important considering for people who are out of work or struggling to make ends meet. While entrepreneurs Jason Toews and Dustin Coupal were brainstorming about Web start-up ideas in Minneapolis in 2000, they came up with the idea of a website that would help people find the best gas prices in their area. GasBuddy.com was launched in 2000, relying on user data for up-to-date gas prices.
While the site was helpful, users needed to write down or remember gas prices until they could get to a computer to input the information. Data was gathered slowly and there were often mistakes since the information was entered at a later date. As mobile apps gained popularity, Toews and Coupal realized that a mobile app could be the solution to their problem. Using the app, users could log in and update gas prices at the pump, rather than waiting until they got home.
The GasBuddy app was introduced for both iPhone and Android in 2009 and quickly became one of the most popular downloads. The app has been downloaded more than six million times and about fifty thousand new downloads occur every day. There is no cost to download the app and there are no advertisements on the app.
For those who need an incentive for taking a moment to enter a gas price to help others save money, the site offers points each time you enter price information. These points can be used for drawings for free gas and other offers. Many “Spotters” update several times a day, updating prices as they drive to and from work or run errands, earning points and helping hard-working people save money.